BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Eating better and losing weight is one of the most popular new year’s resolutions every year.
But experts say that many times those who set the goals take measures that can be too extreme.
"If they have never been in the habit of making healthy choices, they go to an eating plan that eliminates a food group or requires eating habits that are different from their family members and it’s really hard to stick with,” says Anna Threadcraft, a registered dietitian with UAB.
Threadcraft says the first thing she recommends is changing the way people think about the word diet. See it as a plan, not a restriction.
“Don’t think about all the things you’re going to give up. But think about what you’re going to do that’s positive and there are some diets that are absolutely healthier and better than others. The better ones include those that are evidence based, incorporate balance and portion control along with a variety of the food groups," she said.
The first diet Threadcraft recommends is the Mediterranean diet.
“So lots of fruits and vegetables, the typical fat choice is olive oil and the protein of choice is usually fish and legumes,” Threadcraft says.
She also recommends the DASH diet is for those who have or have a history of high blood pressure.
Another step that can help is setting quarterly goals to hold yourself accountable.
“The accountability that we set for ourselves will help us be healthy long term and really that’s what healthy is all about. It’s a lifestyle, not a quick fix,” she says.
Threadcraft says an occasional sweet is not bad and that we all need to be able to splurge. But she says it is important to keep those sweets in reason.